LComm is a two-semester graded course that all first-year students complete. All students are taught by full-time faculty members.
In the program writing is taught as a process, and throughout the year students learn how to independently evaluate and revise their written work. Faculty members use technology to enhance their teaching and prepare students for the widespread use of technology in practice. LComm faculty members continually update their curriculum to stay in touch with today’s legal practice.
In the fall, new law students are introduced to foundational lawyering skills. They learn to read judicial opinions, analyze the law, and then apply the law to a set of facts. Students write objective legal memoranda of the type that a junior associate or judicial clerk might be asked to write. They also learn how to communicate with clients.
In the spring, the focus shifts to persuasive writing and advocacy, and students work on a litigation matter from filing to appeal. Students begin by writing a pre-trial motion—for example, a motion to dismiss, a motion for summary judgment, or a procedural motion. Students also present an oral argument on this motion. They then write a complete appellate brief and present a second oral argument, this time in front of a panel of practicing lawyers and judges. Throughout the semester, students continue to improve their legal research skills, not only conducting the research for their major writing assignments but also completing a series of regular short exercises.
During the two-semester course, LComm students complete the following:
What Are Writing Assignments Like? (Webisode #2): Hear 1L students describe the steps taken to analyze a legal problem and write about it.
First-year law students have the opportunity each year to observe the judicial process when the Third DCA holds oral arguments at the University of Miami.
Miami Law encourages students to showcase their writing skills by entering national writing competitions. Sponsoring organizations and law firms typically offer generous cash awards and resume-boosting recognition to top writers. Click here for a list of other writing competitions.